A batting collapse saw the Proteas crash to Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to lose the ODI series 2-1.
SCORECARD | Sri Lanka v Proteas, 3rd ODI
Debutant Maheesh Theekshana led the Sri Lankan bowling attack as they won by 78 runs.
Sri Lanka posted 203 for nine after electing to bat after winning the toss.
They struggled however, as South Africa’s spinners bamboozled impressed with the ball.
After being set a target of 204, the Proteas got off to the worst possible start as they lost opener Aiden Markram (2) after he edged to first slip off spinner Praveen Jayawickrama.
The following over, Reeza Hendricks looked to defend but was bowled by fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera for 1.
Rassie van der Dussen (5) didn’t last long either as Kamindu Mendis brilliantly caught him at short midwicket off Chameera (2/16).
At this point, South Africa were reeling at 19/3 with last week’s centurion Janneman Malan and Heinrich Klaasen in the middle.
Their 26-run partnership soon ended as Malan (18) was caught behind off Theekshana’s first ball in international cricket.
A passing shower interrupted Sri Lanka’s momentum as South Africa were in trouble on 45 for 4 after 9.1 overs.
The Proteas then lost all-rounder Wiaan Mulder (2) immediately after the rain delay as a googly from Wanindu Hasaranga crashed into his leg stump.
Klaasen top-scored with 22 off 30 balls before misreading Theekshana to be trapped lbw.
Andile Phehlukwayo and George Linde shared a vital 36-run partnership before part-timer Charith Asalanka (1/3) struck as Phehlukwayo was caught behind for 17 off 36 balls.
Linde soon departed for 19 to Hasaranga (2/32) and Kagiso Rabada (8) became Theekshana’s third scalp.
Theekshana dream ODI debut saw the spinner end with figures of on four for 37 when he dismissing skipper Keshav Maharaj for 15 as SA were bowled out for 125 in 30 overs.
Earlier in the day, Asalanka top-scored with 47 as Sri Lanka also succumbed to South Africa’s spin attack.
Stand-in skipper Maharaj led from the front as he struck early to remove opener Avishka Fernando (10).
All-rounder Linde soon joined the party as he dismissed Dinesh Chandimal (9) and Kamindu Mendis (16) as Sri Lanka sat on 64-3 in 14.2 overs.
Maharaj finished on three for 38 as the Proteas spinners bowled 40 overs altogether.
Part-timer Markram (1/41 in 10) took the wicket of De Silva for 31, thanks to a superb one-handed diving catch from wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen.
Tabraiz Shamsi also continued his fine form as he picked up two for 31, including trapping Chamika Karunaratne lbw for 16 and edging the dangerous Asalanka for 47.
Pacers Rabada (0/46) only bowled eight overs, while all-rounders Mulder (1/3) and Phehlukwayo (0/10) each only bowled one over.
Mulder struck in his only over as Chameera struck a shot straight to deep midwicket after a handy contribution of 29 off 39 balls.
But Sri Lanka’s 203/9 was enough to seal the victory.
The two teams now turn their attention to the three-match T20 series, starting on Friday.
Scores in brief:
Sri Lanka – 203/9 in 50 overs (Asalanka 44, De Silva 31, Maharaj 3/38)
South Africa – 125 in 30 overs (Klaasen 22, Theekshana 4-37, Chameera 2/16)
Result: Sri Lanka win by 78 runs